May 1, 2002
Oklahoma Baptist University will recognize legendary pianist Max Lyall, Monday, May 6, at 6:30 p.m., in the university's Geiger Center for a career of teaching and performance excellence. The university also will host a reception for the awardee at 5:30 p.m. in the same location.
Dr. Lyall, retired faculty member at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, will receive OBU's 2002 Distinguished Alumni Award for the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts Division of Music during the annual student awards banquet.
Lyall, a 1961 OBU graduate, curently is minister of music at Woodbrook Baptist Church in Baltimore, Md. In addition to his part-time role at Woodbrook, Lyall also is the accompanist for the Centurymen, a vocal group made up of 100 Southern Baptist ministers of music from churches across the country. Lyall was a founding member of the chorus.
Before coming to Woodbrook, Lyall spent 25 years teaching church music at GGBTS. He came to the seminary from Belmont College, Nashville, Tenn., where he was associate professor of music for eight years. Before that he was assistant music editor for the church music department of the Baptist Sunday School Board (now Lifeway Christian Resources) in Nashville.
While serving at the seminary, Lyall was a deacon and pianist at Tiburon Baptist Church near the Mill Valley, Calif., campus. Lyall's musical training includes a bachelor of music degree from OBU, a master of music degree from the University of Oklahoma, a doctor of musical arts degree in piano from the Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University, as well as additional study at Teachers College of Columbia University and at the Juilliard School of Music.
He has been visiting professor of church music and concert performer at Baptist seminaries in Brazil, Argentina, Hong Kong and Zambia.
In 1996, Word Music produced a collection of piano arrangements and original compositions, recorded on compact disc and cassette, titled "Keyboard Legends," featuring the work of Lyall and three other nationally-known pianists. His previous recordings of hymn-tune improvisations include "Authentic Original" and "Max, Rhythm and Song."
Lyall has been pianist for meetings of the Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist World Alliance, and has performed as pianist, organist and singer for Broadman Press and Buryl Red Productions. He has appeared as accompanist for concerts and recordings by Robert Hale, Dean Wilder, Cynthia Clawson, and Henrietta Davis.
He has written and arranged a number of works appearing in Southern Baptist publications, including "Music From Way Back When," "Klassics for Kids," and "Symphony of Song" for Triune Music Company. His hymn arrangements also have been included in "A Heritage in Hymns," published by the Lorenz Corporation.
He is a member of ASCAP (American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers) and has served on the Hymnal Committee for the 1991 edition of Baptist Hymnal. The Southern Baptist Church Music Conference awarded him Honorary Life Membership in 1992.
In addition, Lyall has been piano and harpsichord soloist with the Nashville Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. He has been piano and tenor soloist with the Nashville Pro Musica Chorus and Orchestra, as well as tenor soloist with the Nashville Chamber Singers. He also has been a soloist for choruses at GGBTS, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and California Baptist University in Riverside, Calif.
OBU awarded Lyall a Profile in Excellence alumni award in 1987.